Iron & Oak serves the firewood processing market with rugged equipment built with American-made parts.
Iron & Oak was founded as Brave Products in 1982. The company’s headquarters was in Annawan, Illinois, a small town just a few dozen miles east of Iowa’s Quad Cities.
According to marketing director Bill Bontemps, the company quickly gained a regional reputation for quality and reliable wood processing products. Soon it began to offer equipment for homeowners and also more heavy-duty, commercial quality equipment.
The quality of the company’s equipment has continued to attract the attention of commercial firewood producers like Jamie Myetich, noted Bill. As the company expanded, it created a separate commercial division, Iron & Oak Commercial Products, and began to build a national reputation. Today its products are available through more than 800 outlets coast to coast.
Iron & Oak has distinguished itself with proven products that are still being improved on a continual basis, said Bill. “Quality is stressed, with only U.S.-made components used,” he said. “Cheaper components can be purchased overseas, but we don’t believe they pay off for the customer. All of our equipment is designed with the power to do the job, fast cycle times, and user friendly designs. It is built using the finest materials available. Over the long run, we believe that dedication to quality and the needs of the customer shows in the equipment.”
The company’s founder sold the business three years ago and retired. The change in ownership has led to further expansion and a move to Streator, Illinois. Iron & Oak Commercial Products now operates under the umbrella of PMW Holding. The parent company is committed to continuing and expanding the reputation for quality machinery and customer service that Iron & Oak has built over the years, said Bill.
Iron & Oak’s core business is designing and manufacturing commercial-grade equipment for processing and handling firewood and also specialty tools and equipment for farms and woodlot operations. The company supplies log splitters, skidder-grapples, hydraulic power supplies, hand tools and accessories. Customers include firewood businesses, woodlot owners, farmers, contractors, landscapers, tree services, equipment rental businesses, and others. Most customers are small businesses, but many of them are growing.
“We believe in quality manufacturing, quality components, and on-going customer support,” said Bill “All our log splitters and other wood handling products are designed, fabricated, welded, and powder coated in-house for total quality control. We use the best American-made components available so customers won’t be plagued with unexpected downtime. That includes commercial horizontal shaft engines, Haldex Barnes pumps, Prince control valves, thick-walled hydraulic cylinders with added sealing capabilities, and machined tool steel splitting wedges. All hydraulic cylinders, valves, and tanks are built to our rugged standards and pre-tested to ensure quality.”
Iron & Oak is constantly developing new products, noted Bill. “There is a lot of equipment out there designed for large-scale firewood producers, but little equipment in the modest price range for the smaller operators. We recently introduced a heavy-duty grapple log skidder, worked on some major improvements, and now have two different versions –– a skid-steer and a three-point hitch for mounting on a tractor. Both are ideal pieces of equipment for smaller operations. The units are capable of grabbing logs up to 40 inches in diameter and have a maximum lifting capacity of 3,000 pounds, depending on the size of the tractor.”
“We manufacture log splitters 12 months a year, and we know the importance of providing trained personnel to promptly answer your questions,” Bill said. “Our people can recommend the Iron & Oak product that’s just right for your operation, provide you with technical support on all our products, and expedite parts when and where you need them.”